Guides, tutorials, and webinars

The research process is a method for exploring and examining resources related to a particular topic. It encompasses a range of activities that can be divided into distinct but iterative steps. The guides presented under the categories below can help you navigate through every stage of the research process.

Planning your research

The guides below can help you as you begin to carry out research in AU Library’s collections. Here are some tips:

When you’re just getting started:

  • Think about what sort of and how much information is needed.
  • Review the requirements of the assignment.
  • Gather background information on the topic.

When you’re ready to develop a search strategy:

  • State the topic in the form of a research question.
  • Break the research question down into concepts and determine appropriate search terms. Think about related terms and synonyms for your concepts.
  • Construct search statements.
  • Prepare an action plan for seeking out the information you need. Consider where would be the best places to search given what you need, what is your timeline, and how will you keep track of your searches and the sources you want to review or use?

Finding and accessing research materials

The tutorials and guides on this page will show you how to begin carrying out searches using a variety of search tools and collections. When you’re carrying out your research, remember to:

  • Use tools such as library catalogues, journal databases, and the Internet.
  • Scan your results, read abstracts as you go, and save items you want to review later or use.
  • Modify your search strategy as needed. Change your search terms, add more specific or less specific ones, and consider trying other search tools.
  • Manage the information sources you located during this phase.

Evaluating your sources

Whether you are using scholarly sources, news pieces, or websites, you need to be aware of the bias these sources may have and be able to evaluate where they are getting their information.

Remember to:

  • Think critically about your results. Evaluate the quality of your sources and determine if they are relevant for your topic.
  • Repeat previous steps as needed to gather more information and fill in gaps.

Writing, citing, and scholarly communications

Throughout your academic and professional career, it’s important to use information ethically and to cite your sources! You can also share your work with others in a variety of channels, including academic journals, conferences, and in class. Below are guides to help you cite your sources and share your work.


AU Librarians and staff offer live webinars on a regular basis, on a variety of topics including searching in the Library, media literacy, citation management, and more. Find our upcoming webinars on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

View recordings of past webinars and check out tutorial videos on AU Library’s YouTube channel. Videos include automatic subtitles that are edited after initial upload.To jump ahead to particular chapters on YouTube select "show more" in the description of each video.

Updated March 19, 2024 by Digital & Web Operations (